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Best training airplane?

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Best training airplane?

Old 21st May 2015, 00:04
  #41 (permalink)  
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A good sable platform to learn is more important at the start than a aircraft with "interesting" handling characteristics, you donít learn to drive a car in a 1970's Stag so why should you learn to fly in a 1970's aircraft.
I will try and answer your question, at least from my experience with airplanes.

In my first post here I gave my preference for the ideal training airplane picked from the long list of airplanes I have taught on.

The Fleet Canuck was built in 1945/46.

Its handling characteristics are exceptional and in no way difficult to fly because it " IS " a excellent stable platform.

The age of an airplane really is not the governing factor of how it fly's, it is the design of the airplane that counts.

If we go to bigger airplanes my favorite machine for teaching on is the DC3 it is a magnificent design and fly's like a dream and was made in the 1930's.

Modern does not always relate to good.
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Old 21st May 2015, 00:15
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chuck Ellsworth View Post
Modern does not always relate to good.
Modern also does does not always relate to bad either. All airplanes have their strengths and weaknesses. Old ones are not necessarily better just because they are an old design.
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Old 21st May 2015, 01:11
  #43 (permalink)  
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The best part of these forums is it allows each of us to share our thoughts on how we think and what our preferences are.

I have shared my preferences and you have shared yours B.P.F.

Best training airplane ? For purely selfish reasons it would be the C 172.
What could be more fair than the pleasure of sharing our preferences?
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Old 21st May 2015, 02:04
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chuck Ellsworth View Post
The best part of these forums is it allows each of us to share our thoughts on how we think and what our preferences are.
Absolutely, which is why you should contribute to the Accidents and Close Call thread, like I just did.

In your stated 50 + years of flying I am sure you have had a few close calls.
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Old 21st May 2015, 02:19
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know if it is the best, but I will be teaching my boys to fly in our tailwheel Waiex when we finish building it.
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Old 21st May 2015, 08:12
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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In an ideal world I would like to teach on the Chipmunk but the cost of maintenance makes basic PPL training on it prohibitively expensive, second choice should be the Piper Cub not as expensive as the Chipmunk but in its own way as nice to fly but still more expensive than the C152.

The bottom line is if we have to use the inexpensive and lacklustre C152 to get people through the front door then so be it, once they have a PPL we can work on getting them into more interesting aircraft.
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Old 21st May 2015, 08:25
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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A and C, absolutely agree. That's what happened to me! The trick is to keep the 'keen' PPL folk interested enough to complete the PPL in the disappointing C150 in order they can 'discover' the more interesting machines.

In our case (there were several of us keen young lads in the same boat) a wise CFI realised this and organised the founding of a Chipmunk group, which we joined immediately on qualifying for the licence.
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Old 21st May 2015, 11:07
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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The trick is to keep the 'keen' PPL folk interested enough to complete the PPL in the disappointing C150 in order they can 'discover' the more interesting machines.
These keen folk might not be so quickly disappointed, if they were not being told that they should be! Many of them are probably just delighted to be off the ground at all, and awesomely proud when they do it solo! Why spoil the mood for them?

I know many people who were very keen to learn to fly a floatplane. They would be equally disappointed with an attempt to take off a Chipmunk, as a C152 - from the water!

It's all a matter of your hopes and expectations at the beginning level.....
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Old 21st May 2015, 11:17
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Always remember the tale of the Piper Cub pilot flying low and slow one summer morning! He looked up and saw a retractable single zoom past overhead

" if only i could fly that I would be truly happy"

The retractable pilot looked up and saw a fast turboprop high in the sky

" if only i could fly that I would be truly happy"

The turboprop pilot looked up and saw a PAX jet fly past way high

" if only i could fly that I would be truly happy"

The Airline pilot looked up and saw Concord zoom past way High

" if only i could fly that I would be truly happy"

The silver haired Concord Captain looked down on that clear sunny morning and saw a tiny yellow speck of the Piper Cub flying low over the beautiful countryside

" if only i could fly that I would be truly happy"

Flying business jets in IFR and CAS exclusively i flew a Cessna 152 for the first time since my PPL 28 years ago and never had such fun it was like coming back to an old friend and stirred many memories of times past!

its strange in life when we start we are driven for better and better and loose sight of what gave us such a massive thrill in the first place

Last edited by Pace; 21st May 2015 at 11:39.
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Old 21st May 2015, 13:01
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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These keen folk might not be so quickly disappointed, if they were not being told that they should be! Many of them are probably just delighted to be off the ground at all, and awesomely proud when they do it solo! Why spoil the mood for them?

I know many people who were very keen to learn to fly a floatplane. They would be equally disappointed with an attempt to take off a Chipmunk, as a C152 - from the water!

It's all a matter of your hopes and expectations at the beginning level.....
Step, I disagree. That's not how I remember it. No-one told me I should be disappointed; it came as a shock how awful the C150 was after the gliders I'd come from, and they (Ka4 and K13) were themselves a bit ponderous, especially in roll.

Richard Bach, in his marvelously inspirational book A Gift of Wings, encapsulated my feelings perfectly:

…. perhaps in the back of our minds, as we pushed the high-winged cabin into the sky, we thought ‘This isn’t like I hoped it would be, but if it’s flying I guess it will have to do’.
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Old 21st May 2015, 13:34
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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No-one told me I should be disappointed
Great!

But you seem to be telling everyone here with:

it came as a shock how awful the C150 was after the gliders I'd come from
Why tell everyone here? To what end?

The trick is to keep the 'keen' PPL folk interested enough to complete the PPL
We agree on that, why expend effort to defeat that as you begin?

I'm saddened to hear that you're disappointed by 150's, but that is your privilege. But you seem to want to repeatedly demean those who are happy to enjoy their 150's and similar compromise planes. I'm pleased to appreciate your love of Chipmunks, and would love to join you in a flight in one - I was thinking of your pleasing words about the Chipmunk handling, while I was enjoying rolling a Harvard last month - after 15 minutes of flying it for my first time.

But after 28 years of owning it, I enjoyed putting my 150 right on the displaced runway line yesterday, and with no fuss, turning off 200 feet later at the intersection. I taxiied to the hangar, and had the meeting my client. My cost and effort to fly myself to the meeting was negligible, and saved me an hour of my life otherwise driving there. The 150 did EXACTLY what I wanted it to do, and I was entirely happy about it.

Why cut down other people's pleasure in their flight?

What if you focused on saying only positive things about planes here?
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Old 21st May 2015, 14:01
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Why tell everyone here? To what end?
Step, I think you need to haul on board that other folk may not always agree with the views you hold. And those other folk have just as much right as you do to express their views.

I wouldn't dream of telling you to keep your views (when I disagree with them) to yourself.
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Old 21st May 2015, 15:04
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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SSD

I think it would be unfortunate if prospective pilots reading this started with the impression that they were being short changed if they learned to fly in a C 150, or any of the other common Cessna/Piper trainers.

I do not agree with your premise and know it is possible to learn to fly in a C 150, or equivalent aircraft, and have just as good hands and feet as someone who learned in a Chipmunk, it all depends on having a good instructor.
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Old 21st May 2015, 15:17
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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And those other folk have just as much right as you do to express their views.
Yes, our privileges are equal here in terms of expressing views, and to each their own. But in light of your agreeing that we are here to encourage new "keen" PPLs, which I entirely agree with, (and is my main reason for contributing here) I can't understand why you would want to leave those people with the impression that most of the aircraft (by type) that they are likely to encounter in a training environment are: "awful" or "disappointing".

Those aircraft may be entirely fulfilling to that keen PPL candidate, if their desire is to be safely and economically airborne, with low expectations of handling and performance. But having just earned their PPL, if a pilot buys a a modest 150, and simply enjoys the pleasure of flying it around, why would you want to so repeatedly trash that type - and by extension, his decision? I suspect that you would look down on that owner, and give them a cold shoulder with muffled remarks of disrespect, as they walked in from the ramp, where they had just parked. In my opinion, actively disapproving of something which is perfectly safe and fine for someone else, is just not helpful, and worthy of being called out.

I had occasion to fly with a friend in his pride and joy, which he had spent six years meticulously restoring. It is the last of only five ever made of a Canadian bush plane. I entered the process of assisting him with preconceived impressions of how that plane would fly, based upon having flown a number of similar sized and powered aircraft. After flying his aircraft on wheels and floats, I am left appreciating the other types more than his - in all respects other than uniqueness - where he wins hands down. But did I tell him anything negative about his plane? No! I asked if he had flown other types which were similar, and he told be he had not - I smiled, and left it at that. And he and I get along just fine. I truly appreciate his dedication to his passion, and I have no interest in reducing his pride.

If you have fleets of Chipmunks at the ready for training the next generation of PPL wannabes, I'm there shoulder to shoulder with you promoting them - simply for all the good things I've heard about them. I'm not here making factual statements on the considerable work I have done maintaining Gypsy Major engines.

Understand that I'm not knocking the positive things said about training types, I am knocking the negative things being said here abut some types, where they contribute nothing to the benefit of the discussion.
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Old 21st May 2015, 17:03
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Just because some types have negative characteristics is no reason to pretend they don't. Is it a US characteristic to only post good news? If so, someone ought to tell Mr Bach.

I prefer full and frank 'real world experience' discussions to 'don't frighten the horses' white washing.

And there are plenty of aeroplanes other than Chipmunks that are nice to fly trainers. Cubs, Slingsbys, Bulldogs, Condors, Pups come to mind.
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Old 21st May 2015, 17:48
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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I think Richard Bach's point, above, is very true.

My favourites would be Slingsby T67, Grumman AA5A, pretty well any of the Robins.

Why? Side-by-side seating is advantageous for the instructor but more importantly pleasant for the student, they are nice to handle (I would never have taken a PA28 or C152 up just to pole it round the circuit), good visibility of one's environment, and while pilots of only poor-to-moderate ability can get them safely up and down again, they reward excellent skills. Oh, and they look like real aeroplanes (which makes one feel like a real pilot).

I think flying schools very much under-estimate the things that genuinely could keep more students coming back for more.
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Old 21st May 2015, 17:49
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Following this thread has been interesting so far. Training aircraft have evolved over the years for various reasons. The Chipmunk was designed to accommodate the RAF, it wouldn't be much use sending a pilot off in a Spitfire to fight for his life unless he was capable of aerobatics. The 150/152 is perfect for anyone who just wants to enjoy being airborne, and is quite capable of being flung about a bit, though I wouldn't fancy my chances against a 109.
Bickering about the merits of each is counterproductive when trying to encourage people to fly.
The only thing wrong with the 150/152 is the flying school that is running them. Letting them get into the condition of a tatty skip (dumpster) is not the fault of a perfectly sound aircraft.
I would ask is it a good idea to be trained on a tailwheel like Grandpa was or is it ok to only know nosewheeling?
I note that Cubs and Condors are mentioned, am I allowed to be biased as well and suggest my Emeraude with its elliptical wing it has a good rate of roll, aerobatic in other than UK atmosphere, very few vices for a taily, used by the French airforce a while ago, and it looks nice.
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Old 21st May 2015, 18:09
  #58 (permalink)  
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I would ask is it a good idea to be trained on a tailwheel like Grandpa was or is it ok to only know nosewheeling?
That is easy to answer.

When discussing light training aircraft it is very simple to learn both gear configurations, and there sure are no shortage of both configurations.

The reason this is not done is because the training industry have opted for nose wheel airplanes in the misguided belief tail wheel airplanes are to difficult for the average person to operate.

Grandpa.....
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Old 21st May 2015, 18:18
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Just because some types have negative characteristics is no reason to pretend they don't
I assure you that ALL types have negative characteristics, depending upon your expectations.

Considering (just for a discussion example) the Chipmunk compared to the 150/152 as a trainer, and its market popularity, the numbers tell me that total sales of the "awful" and "disappointing" 150/152 exceeded sales of the delightful Chipmunk by 23605 aircraft. So, I guess the market spoke about the more suitable of the two for their general flight training needs.

The real world experience has been that nearly 20 times as many 150/152s have been used as Chipmunks for training, for 80% as long. I wonder today the proportion of 150/152 in primary flight training service to the number of Chipmunks in that role.......

Not at all my opinion, just data I'm aware of, no whitewashing involved.

And yes, I'm aware of many other very worthwhile trainer types, I just selected two prominent types from the preceding discussion. I seek to pronounce no opinon on the other types in this particular post. I've flown many Cubs, Cherokees, Champs, Grummans, Tomahawks, and I have many nice things to say about all of them. I'd love to fly a Bulldog, but I'm not aware of any in Canada.

I will look forward with great eagerness to my first flight in a Chipmunk. A fellow remains to fulfill his "trade" to me for some very specialized work I had to do for him, to keep his Gypsy Major running!
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Old 21st May 2015, 18:23
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Chuck
No doubt Grandpa, which is a myth that should definitely be stamped out. You know as well as the rest of us tailwheel sky gods that tailwheels are not difficult, just different. Just like stick shift transmissions.

Last edited by Crash one; 21st May 2015 at 18:36.
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